The six minute man, Buddy bad driving and ANZAC eve – The AFL Five

1. Chris Judd

Chris Judd returned from an Achilles injury to be Carlton’s sub in a round not so long ago. As we now know he entered the fray in the 3rd quarter and twinged a hammy after just six minutes on the field. An unusual occurrence and unfortunate for Judd and Carlton. However Judd kicked things up a notch when he spoke to the media the next day. Judd claimed that the Carlton sport science team had looked at his GPS data and at the moment he hurt his hamstring, as he simultaneous kicked the ball and was pushed by the Doggies Stew Crameri, he was travelling twice as fast as any player did throughout the game. Wow! What a load of shit! What’s next for Judd? Perhaps he could channel the brains trust of ‘This is Spinal Tap’ and get the sports science boffins to change his GPS so ‘it goes to 11’

 

2. Buddy bad driving

So Lance Franklin wasn’t under the affect of alcohol or drugs and wasn’t distracted talking on his phone or texting and he managed to clean up four parked cars, wheels off and all. Wow! He must be one of the world worst drivers. Rather than that Fox Footy special last year “Buddy 13” celebrating Franklin’s 13 goals against North Melbourne in 2012 I’d like to see a “The Best of the Worlds Worst Drivers  – Buddy 4” hosted by Sheriff John Burnell (retired) and as per the Fox Footy special live tweeting from Buddy would be obligatory… but obviously not while he’s driving. There’d be segments on his many misadventures in Melbourne and the fateful day he lent Dan Hannebry his keys.

Of course there would also be the more scientific “Crash Scene Investigation” documentary TV special with Jeff Geischen cast in the role of a motion expert explaining that the route Buddy took was just his natural arc and therefore not illegal.

Who is making the most money from Franklin’s move to Sydney? He’s costing the Swans plenty, he’s probably cost his girlfriend a car sponsorship, yeah it’s probably his smash repairer.

 

Buddy's smash repairer couldn't be happier.
Buddy’s smash repairer couldn’t be happier.

3. Congestion

Ah footy is dead. No more are there “all 36 players in one half of the ground” as Robert Walls use to love to say, it’s so congested that all 36 players are in one quarter of the ground, nay within a 20 metre radius. No actually it’s so congested all 36 players are so close together they are actually standing on top of one another, it’s ruining the game and it’s no longer a spectacle worth watching seemed to be the general consensus after the first four rounds of the season.

And according to legends of the game the only way to fix it was with rule changes and zones. Wayne Carey wanted the length of a kick to be increased to 20m, Leigh Matthews was calling for three or four players from each team inside the 50m arcs for each stoppage, Kevin Sheedy said he’d been calling for zones for years (don’t remember that, Sheeds)  and Garry Lyon said he wasn’t getting enjoyment from going to the footy (too many Melbourne games I’d suggest)

Guidelines had been put in place in the TAC Cup this season meaning 4 players had to be in the forward half for a kick in and Gippsland Power coach Leigh Brown claimed the game was much better for it. Compared to what? Leigh Brown is in his first year as a TAC Cup coach after getting the axe from his assistant coach role at Melbourne. Given Melbourne’s diabolical form I’d say he hadn’t been involved in a decent game of footy since he retired form Collingwood in 2011!

After a couple of well contested (not congested – just one letter different) games on Easter Monday and ANZAC day most of the talk has dissipated. No doubt the congestion issue and possible solutions will rear their heads again this season or the next like the other hardy perennials: high marking is dead, goal kicking accuracy should be better, Melbourne’s 3rd stadium, the standard of umpiring, the cost of food at the footy, there will never be another player kick 100 goals in a season, etc, etc.

In fact the congestion issue and it’s ‘solutions are not new – Leigh Matthews  (if not Kevin Sheedy) was calling for players in zones in 2012.

 

 

 

 

4. International Rules

What better way to detract from crowds being down and footy being ugly than to announce that a series no one cares about is going to be rolled out again. That’s right Australia will play Ireland in a  single International Rules match in Perth on November 22. After the embarrassing and abject performances of the Indigenous team last October in Ireland, things are going to change. The players will have to be current or previous All- Australians to play (I now understand why Cyril Rioli and Nic Natanui were named in the 2012 All-Australian team – it’s so they could qualify for the 2014 International Rules series) Rules could be tweaked to favour key position players and ruckmen, Alistair Clarkson has been appointed coach and Eddie McGuire was given the role of ‘Chef de mission’ – a position usually reserved for Olympic Games teams. With McGuire at the helm as chief spruiker one thing is guaranteed-  there is going to be a whole lot of hot air and bluster before November.

Eddie was immediately into the bluster talking about getting Shane Warne on board, having training camps in Barcelona and playing a game in New York – nothing like aiming high! A more realistic goal would be getting the best players wanting to play and getting the public to take an interest.

 

5. ANZAC day eve

IN the great tradition of the AFL here is the revisionist history account of football on ANZAC Day. in 1995 the AFL deceided to stage an AFL game on ANZAC day – Collingwood v Essendon on ANZAC day, 90,000+ turned up the match was a draw and a great and grand tradition was born and ANZAC day remains to this day the.  Well, not quite AFL had been played on ANZAC day for many years prior in Melbourne between teams other than Essendon and Collingwood. I know who would have thought!

The ‘first’ ANZAC day in 1995 was a Tuesday and on the Monday night beforehand Richmond played North Melbourne at the MCG ( possibly the first game of Monday night AFL, I’m not 100% sure). Last week Richmond floated the idea of an annual ANZAC eve match against Melbourne but Andrew Demetriou quickly poured cold water on the prospect saying it would detract from the ANZAC day spectacle.

Well Andrew it didn’t detract from the ‘first’ ANZAC day game in 1995, so with the great and grand tradition of Collingwwod v Essendon set in stone I fail to see how a match the evening before hand could detract from it now. Whilst Richmond don’t have the support of the AFL on this front, they did seek out and receive the approval of the RSL to hold a game of football on April 24. What? What are you doing Richmond – the games not on ANZAC day. If the Tigers wanted to play the day after ANZAC day would they run it by the RSL for approval? When would it end? Are Richmond seeking RSL approval for all their games in April? What’s next? Melbourne checking with the Australian Monarchist Society if it’s ok to play a game of football on the Queens Birthday holiday? Actually they should probably check with the Hotham and Falls Creek ski resorts if its ok with them to hold a match in Melbourne on the opening weekend of the ski season.

I’d just like to let the AFL know my birthday is in September. It’s kind of a big deal and I usually run with a ‘birthday  fortnight’ with a multitude of events so if the AFL could not schedule any finals during that time to detract from my ‘birthday fortnight’ that would be great.

 

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Ross Slater

Blogging about the important things - AFL and cricket

One thought on “The six minute man, Buddy bad driving and ANZAC eve – The AFL Five”

  1. Good work Ross, but in fairness ANZAC Day eve footy will distract from the West Ivanhoe United Cricket Club’s presentation night so I’m with Andy D on this one.

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